Park ‘too dangerous for children to use’

The state of the equipment at Solitude Play park.
The state of the equipment at Solitude Play park.

Concerned parents have hit out at the state of Solitude Play Park saying it is too dangerous for their children to use.

One woman took to social media to show photos of the damaged equipment and run down facilities which are due to be upgraded in coming months by Banbridge District Coucnil.

After looking at the photos on the Banbridge Saints and Sinners Facebook page, Annette Rogers commented: “Last time I took kids the slide was all vomit and there was broken glass at entrance - will never be back.”

Serina McCordick who supplied the photos taken by her sister wrote: “Absolutely disgusting, should be closed and pulled out.”

Emma Hutchinson wrote: “Terrible to see the park in this state. It seems to be a combination of poor or no maintenance and vandalism. The latter is really disappointing.”

Banbridge Councillor Glenn Barr thanked the member of public for highlighting the issue.

He said: “I share her concerns.

“The Council is at the stage of finalising the design for the replacement park and all this equipment will be taken away, so it is a balancing act around not investing funds in equipment that is going to be removed shortly.”

A spokesperson for Banbridge District Council explained that the council are currently in the process of planning the redevelopment of the play area.

They said: “Banbridge District Council has always placed children’s health and well-being high on their agenda and no more so than in the provision of play parks for the district.

“In their continuing efforts to provide the best facilities possible, a proposed major redevelopment of Solitude Park Play Area has been unveiled.”

The spokesperson added; “The Solitude Play Area attracts children of all ages and parents/carers not just from the local area but from across the whole district and even further afield due to the appeal of the beautiful open green space of Solitude and close proximity to Banbridge Town Centre and associated shopping and visitor attractions.

“To facilitate this important project the council have appointed leading Belfast based consulting engineers RPS to undertake the design aspect of this ambitious project.”

The Council spokesperson explained that plans for the proposed development where placed on show to the public in Banbridge Leisure Centre last month when members of the public were encouraged to offer comments on the new scheme which were then fed back to the consulting engineers.